WordPress is the favorite CMS for bloggers worldwide. But it’s much, much more than “just” a blogging platform. It’s a full-featured Content Management System. Here are just a few of the reasons.
- It’s Open Source. Open Source means you don’t have to buy the program, it’s free and available to anyone who wants it. You can modify the program (if you have the programming skills to do so) because the source code is accessible.
- It’s Free. WordPress is a free download.
- It’s Customizable. You can change the appearance of your website, or by customizing it yourself (or hiring a programmer to create exactly what you want for you). Themes, widgets and plugins make it easy to create a look and feel that’s uniquely yours.
- Themes control the overall look and feel of the site. The theme determines the colors, fonts, layout and other major design elements. You are viewing this site using a theme called Atahualpa To see what the same exact information looks like in a different theme, click here. There are thousands of free themes, and thousands of themes available for very reasonable prices.
- Widgets are the name for the various gadgets and gizmos that live in the sidebars or footers of the site. On this site, the calendar is created by a widget. Other widgets can serve advertising, encourage your visitors to sign up for your Twitter feeds, and much, much more.
- Plugins add functionality. One that I add to all the sites I create catches spammy comments and holds them aside for a person to look at before they post to the world. Another that I like creates a list of related posts or articles and puts them at the end of the article, automating a very tiresome task.
- It’s easy to add content. Anyone in your organization who can use Word or a text editor can add articles to the website. There’s no special skill or programming knowledge needed, and your site always looks professional. This can save you a ton of money. If several people in your organization contribute to the website, they can each have a username and password so they can add or edit their own material. You can even set it up so that individual members of your team have different levels of permission to make changes.
- It’s limitless. Some famous WordPress websites include MarthaStewart.com, Ford, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Even the Congressional Budget Office is using WordPress! Etailers use WordPress, too. One of my favorite online stores, Despair.com, runs WordPress.